Paul Hughes and Anna Munday took on The Oxfordshire Yeoman pub in Freeland, perfectly situated between Woodstock, Witney and Eynsham, on October 27 – eight days before lockdown.
And while planning to open on November 13 (unlucky for some) they have been busy in lockdown redecorating, getting to know the locals, and reopening the pub shop and takeaway/delivery service.
“We’re keen to make sure our menu is as freshly produced and locally sourced as possible”
Which means come December Anna and Paul will be raring to go.
“Call us crazy but we’d been looking for somewhere to take on for a while and when we walked into the Oxfordshire Yeoman back in July we fell in love with it,” Anna explains.
So what was it they fell in love with? “The Oxfordshire Yeoman is a proper traditional country pub really rooted in the community and you don’t get many of them anymore. We certainly don’t want to change that element of it at all,” Anna explains.
Plans for the pub include giving it some love with a fresh coat of paint, traditional wooden flooring to replace the old carpet and additional cover in the garden for the winter.
“we’ll have to wait until December to open our doors and welcome people back in to see the changes, and we can’t wait”
Anna, who is also co-founder of Independent Oxford, is naturally enthusiastic about locally sourcing produce and drinks.
“We’re keen to make sure our menu is as freshly produced and locally sourced as possible though we know that it’s something we’ll need to keep developing. We’re already working with a Witney based butcher, local veg supplier and are in conversations with a local bakery and three local beer suppliers ready for reopening, including Little Ox Brewery just up the road,” she says.
As for their November lockdown takeaway you can expect freshly homemade small batch pies (once they’re gone, they’re gone!), juicy homemade 8oz beef burgers, Saturday Brunch and a delicious Sunday Roast with all the trimmings.
READ OUR FULL NOVEMBER TAKEAWAY GUIDE HERE: https://www.oxinabox.co.uk/top-50-november-takeaways-to-try-while-helping-oxfordshires-hospitality-industry-stay-afloat-until-christmas/
Prior to Anna and Paul taking on the pub, the previous landlord’s team had started a village shop – the Yeo-Op – as the village didn’t have one. This is continuing under Paul and Anna’s plan to be part of the community by providing fresh fruit and veg, meat, essentials and more.
“we knew another lockdown, or additional restrictions, would come into force after taking on the pub, but not eight days in!”
All of which means that having received such positive feedback from the local community, the couple are now looking forward to opening properly in December: “We were going to be closed for the second week of November anyway for the refurbishment work but now it gives us more time to complete all the work.
“It just means we’ll just have to wait until December to open our doors and welcome people back in to see the changes, and we can’t wait.”
So how does she feel about the November lockdown? Anna laughs: “It would have been very silly of us not to think another lockdown or additional restrictions would come into force some time after we’d taken on the pub, but we confess we didn’t think it would come only eight days in!
“However, the team here at the Yeoman have worked with us on a strong takeaway menu and we hope that the community will continue to support the pub – and some new people discover us too!”
We’ve already been given a very warm welcome by the local Freelanders, with many offering their support in our first two weeks, and we’ve no doubt this will continue for years to come.”
The Oxfordshire Yeoman takeaway menu is here: https://oxfordshireyeoman.com/takeaway/
Call 01993 881003 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to place a takeaway order.